John Carter – Movie Review
- Published on Sunday, 18 March 2012 00:38
- Igor Hrenovac
This movie really sneaked on me cuz until maybe 2 or 3 months I didn’t heard a lot about it or better to say, I didn’t heard anything. I should keep track on what is going on in movie industry so this is slap for me or marketing of that movie failed and looking at the box office, it might be the second thing.
Now something about the movie and what is going on in it. The name itself doesn’t really give impression that its some high budget blockbuster easily compared to Avatar in quality of production, but the story is based on book of Edgar Rice Burroughs “A Princess of Mars”. He wrote a whole series of books based on adventures of John Carter and he did that about one century ago. We can say that he was inspiration for many SciFi stories that came later. One problem was that in his time Mars was a mystery so the whole story now might seem little unrealistic to this century viewers.
Movie starts in time after Civil war in USA and John Carter is an ex Captain with big list of medals for his achievements during war. He lost everything in war and he is in search of gold now, but military needs him again which he doesn’t really takes well. Since he is a born fighter he escapes the military camp he was held in to “reconsider” his military career. In the pursuit he takes a hide in a cave where from nothing some human like alien guy appears, they start to fight and he stabs him. The alien guy had a device in his hand and with last breath trying to cast a chant to activate the device. John grabs the device, that’s actually teleporter, and repeats the last word the alien said which was the end of the chant and John gets teleported to Mars (Barsoom).
Now the real story starts. Since the gravity of Mars is different than Earth’s he is much stronger and agile and can jump so far that he is basically “flying” around. Now they took the gravity as important factor in the movie, but thing that bugs me is the atmosphere. If the gravity is different than on Earth, shouldn’t there be a slight difference in amount of oxygen in air, cuz he doesn’t have problem breathing on Mars, but maybe I’m just too picky about details.
He meets the first really alien looking humanoids and they are big, green and have more the 2 arms (so much about little green ones theory). They do speak marsian but in their captivity one of females gives him some potion so they all start to speak English or he starts speaking Martian, either way. He ends up in middle of Civil war on Mars, meets a beautiful princess Dejah and decides to help them cuz he really doesn’t know how the teleporter works.
It’s hard not to compare John Carter with Avatar cuz they are in same category. I like the movie the same I liked Avatar, not exactly my Top 25 movies. Environment looks great, Mars looks pretty nice even though I’m not sure I have seen a single plant, but they did great job on that part. Avatar is better in that part cuz it has more details and after all it’s a forest and plants everywhere. Mars is a big wasteland which they managed to make look pretty good. There are a good fighting and battle scenes and effects are top level.
Acting was pretty solid, lots of actors in rise and few of those known names are actually aliens so they are more of a voice then a face. Taylor Kitsch did good work as John Carter even though the Mars part of the role suits him better than of some Civil war veteran, but with all the movies from him coming this year, he is a next big action movie star. Lynn Collins as princess Dejah did fine, nothing spectacular but this might be her bigger breakthrough. Too bad that Bryan Cranston had only role in the beginning of movie and I like how Mark Strong played the leader of alien race that use those teleports to go around, they have huge powers to control things around them and in a sense they fill in the religious symbolism in the movie with prolly the religions of Earth cuz they pretty much play gods.
Only thing I didn’t like in the movie were those little details they could do better to close the gap between the time when books were written and now when the movie was made. Also I would fire whole marketing team cuz this was about to be new Disney franchise but with numbers on box office and $250 million the production cost I’m not sure they will go with it. Everyone heard something about Avatar and big Cameron new movie like a year before it came to cinemas, but for John Carter prolly just diehard fans of the books. Shame, it’s a good movie and if you have a chance, go and see it.
Also there is an awesome martian dog (I guess) that moves super fast